July 24 (EUROPA PRESS) –
A prominent general of the Sudanese Armed Forces has rejected the deployment of troops from member countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and has challenged Kenyan President William Ruto to send in the Kenyan Army, given the conflict that broke out in April between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
In general Yasir al Ata, deputy commander in chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces, has challenged Ruto to send his troops and those of the “State that supports him”, without specifying which one he is referring to, while calling him a “mercenary”, as reported by the Sudanese news portal Sudan Tribune.
The Sudanese authorities have repeatedly rejected a possible mediation by the Kenyan president in the conflict with the RSF and have accused Ruto of maintaining ties with the paramilitary formation, declared a rebel group after the outbreak of fighting on April 15.
On the other hand, Al Ata has stressed that the objective of the Army is to keep the country united and “free from the threat of the ‘Janjaweed'” – an amalgamation of Arab militias made up mainly of tribes from the Darfur region and from Chad, on the other side of the border – during the war in Darfur.
“We, as soldiers, do not aspire to govern. It is the political forces that have to reach an agreement to govern the country, but we inform them that Sudan is not a game for any unscrupulous politician, speculator or mercenary,” he concluded.
The current hostilities between the Army and the RSF broke out in the context of an increase in tensions over the integration of the paramilitary group into the Armed Forces, a key part of an agreement signed in December to form a new civilian government and reactivate the open transition after the 2019 overthrow of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, damaged by the October 2021 coup against the unit’s prime minister, Abdallah Hamdok.
The war has so far left more than 1,100 dead, according to the Sudanese Ministry of Health, but the real figures could be much higher considering the inter-communal violence unleashed in the Kordofan and Darfur regions.
In addition, more than three million people have been displaced, including nearly 740,000 who have fled to neighboring countries, according to data provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), amid reports of daily atrocities and large-scale sexual abuse against the country’s women and girls.